Mother claims teeth whitening left her with 'severely burnt' gums

Mother claims her gums were ‘seriously burned’ following a botched teeth whitening procedure at a beauty salon

  • Áoife Wills had the treatment at a beauty salon in Monaghan, Ireland
  • She says her gums are ‘severely burnt and in serious pain’ after the treatment
  • This may have been because the salon didn’t use protective gel, her dentist said
  • Her teeth are undamaged, but she is likely to have ‘permanent damage’ she fears 

A mother has claimed her gums were left ‘severely burned’ after a botched teeth whitening procedure.

Áoife Wills fears she has ‘permanent damage’ and will need a gum graft because of the beauty salon treatment.

Miss Wills, of Monaghan, Republic of Ireland, shared pictures of the blackened skin around her teeth on Facebook. 

Teeth whitening should always be done by a dentist because they are qualified to do it correctly. Ms Wills claims the salon – which hasn’t been named – did not use a protective gel.

Áoife Wills has posted horrifying photos of her ‘severely burned’ gums after a botched tooth whitening procedure in Monaghan

Photos show Ms Wills’ blackened skin around her top teeth after teeth whitening 

Ms Wills shared the photos with the caption: ‘Just a warning to people!! On Saturday I went to a beauty salon in Monaghan to get my teeth whitened, I put my trust in these people to do their job correctly!

‘However I have now been left with my gums severely burnt and in serious pain! I had to go to the dentist today to get them checked and get an X-ray thankfully my teeth haven’t being damaged I am very lucky.

‘However they don’t yet know what way my gums are going to heal after this! Dentist explained that there should have being a protective gel put on the gums before the procedure which did not happen, it has nothing to do with my teeth or gums!

‘Simply their fault!! Seriously anyone looking to get teeth whitened please go to a dentist and get it done correctly!’

Tooth whitening is a procedure which uses bleach powder or gel to lighten enamel on teeth by several shades. 

According to the NHS website, tooth whitening is a form of dentistry which should only be carried out by qualified professionals.

If carried out in beauty salons by staff either untrained or lacking the correct dental qualifications, it is illegal. 

Risks include an ill-fitting mouthguard, which may cause bleaching gel to leak onto gums and into the mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity. 

It can also discolour the skin because the soft tissue is damaged by the bleaching agents and chemicals in the product.   

Ms Wills’ post on Facebook has been shared more than 2,000 times. Ms Wills decided to post the images as a warning to other considering getting the procedure done 

Ms Wills said she was still in agony two days after the procedure

Ms Wills confirmed in the comments that the damage caused was likely to be permanent


Teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and should only be carried out by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist, the NHS say.

If carried out in beauty salons by staff either untrained or without dental qualifications, the cosmetic procedure can put oral health at risk and is also illegal.

DIY home teeth whitening kits also carry risks, as well as being less effective.

The mouthguard provided may not fit properly so some of the bleaching gel may leak out onto the gums and into the mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity.

The British Dentist Association say that some home-kits contain dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide – more than 33 per cent. High level bleaching gels can cause mouth infections, blistering and burns to gums, damage to nerves and tooth enamel, and gum-shrinking.  

You can only have your teeth whitened on the NHS if there’s a medical reason for it. 

Ms Wills’ post, which has been shared more than 2,000 times, has been met with sympathy and outrage by social media users.

Donna Norton wrote: ‘That is a b***** disgrace, I would be taking it further no joke. And you should be getting your money back also.’

Nikita Cooper added: ‘Omg! The poor girl, my worst nightmare.’ 

Karl Mooney said: ‘That’s a f***** joke. Name and shame them. Can’t believe a place would leave anyone like that. I hope it heals well for you.’

And Hayley Thomas wrote: ‘Wow bless you that looks sore! Thank you for being brave & highlighting one of the many reasons why only a Dentist can carry out tooth whitening!

‘I hope it all heals without permanent damage to the gingival tissues!’

However, Ms Wills confirmed in the comments that the damage caused was likely to be permanent.

She replied to Hayley saying: ‘Thank you, dentist reckons that it more than likely will leave permanent damage and that there maybe a chance I will have to get a gingival graft done! Going to see a specialist on Monday!’

She also added it was ‘a lesson learnt’, but that she was still in agony.

She said: ‘In pain since Saturday and the pain isn’t easing at all. People really need to be careful who they go to! I wouldn’t want to see anyone else go through this pain.’

She added: ‘Thank you everyone for your comments and shares. Lesson learnt, only ever let a dentist near your teeth.’

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